Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva introduced legislation that will help conserve our natural resources from the threats of climate change.
The Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resource Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 2192) will establish a Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Panel, made up of federal agencies responsible for managing our nation’s natural resources.
Forests, wildlife refuges, national parks and other federally-owned land and water represent a 650-million-acre front in the battle against global climate change, but many federal land and water management agencies have yet to take up the fight in earnest.
The Panel will be tasked with developing a comprehensive, national strategy for combating climate change. Once the national strategy is in place, each federal agency with jurisdiction over natural resources will translate that broader plan into a climate change response tailored specifically to their agency’s programs and activities.
“Climate change is a serious issue that must not be ignored,” said Grijalva, Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. “The previous Administration disregarded scientific research and planning was discouraged through underfunding and censorship. Today, there are only 26 glaciers in Glacier National compared to the 150 glaciers that existed over 100 years ago. The Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park are dying. Unless Congress and the Administration work together to combat climate change, these parks and others like them will need new names, as they will no longer be characterized by the resources reflected in their names. This legislation will provide federal agencies and the States the tools they need to protect our ecosystems.”
In addition, the bill will streamline, centralize and improve the collection and dissemination of climate-related scientific information. This provision will ensure that federal climate research will be better funded, more aggressive and more easily available to land managers, policy-makers and the public.